On Thursday, a public defender investigator was called by the defense to take the stand in the case of Antonio Carter-Bibbs and Patricia Kenard, where Mr. Carter-Bibbs faces charges of the molestation of Ms. Kenard’s then four-year-old daughter.
The PD investigator noted that he witnessed on June 3, the day of opening arguments where the young child was supposed to testify but twice refused, a conversation between about five individuals, including the child, Deputy DA Brooke Jenkins, an inspector, a victim’s advocate and one other individual.
The investigator testified, “I observed Jenkins say, ‘say that – that’s what you need to say.’”
He testified it caught his attention because it was very unorthodox and seemed to be very important. He had not been paying particular attention before that.
He then pulled out his iPhone and recorded a few minutes of audio. The audio that came out was very distorted and difficult to hear. However, the public defender investigator managed to produce a transcript that was provided to the jury while they listened to the audio from the video recording.
Under cross-examination from Ms. Jenkins, the investigator said that he had been observing various courtrooms and had overheard interns in the public defender’s office indicate that many were going to watch the trial and he felt like it sounded interesting.
He heard that the minor – who was only five – was going to testify, and since he had never seen someone so young testify in such a trial, he decided to watch. However, he never saw the girl testify.
During the break, outside, he overheard the conversation.
The Deputy DA pressed the investigator on details of the discussion and also details from the testimony – although he acknowledged he never saw the girl testify.
He testified that, given the allegations in the case, hearing the Deputy DA apparently coach the witness caught his “close attention.”
In addition to the initial line, the investigator also said he overheard one of the advocates telling the girl, “you’re going to have to talk” and “the only answer is yes.”
The case involving Antonio Carter-Bibbs and Patricia Kenard has seen two weeks worth of evidence. It is expected that closing arguments will occur this Monday (June 17).
—David M. Greenwald reporting